Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Statement by

Mr. Jeem Lippwe
Charge d'Affaires a.i.
FSM Permanent Mission to the UN

at the UN Security Council
"open debate exploring the relationship between energy, security and climate"

New York, 17 April 2007

Check Against Delivery

Madame President,

I would first like to align myself with the statement delivered earlier today by the Permanent Representative of Papua New Guinea on behalf of the Pacific Small Island Developing States.

Madame President,

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) would first like to thank you for the opportunity to bring its views on climate security to the Council. The Federated States of Micronesia welcomes that the Security Council, today, takes the important first step to recognize its role to address climate security. Indeed, for the Federated States of Micronesia, as well as other Small Island Developing States (SIDS), climate change has been a serious security problem for quite some time. So by necessity, my delegation is speaking today, as it has been constantly and consistently on many occasions elsewhere, about the security threat climate change poses to our very existence as a country and as a people.

As the climate change debate takes place in this Council for the first time, members of this United Nations take the luxury in a mixed political, scientific and intellectual debate over its implications, and even on its appropriateness to be taken up by this Council. But from the viewpoint of an islander living on island atolls merely a few meters above sea-level, global climate change is a security threat that must be confronted urgently by this Council, in terms of our cultural and geographic mortality. The circumstances that confront us today by global climate change are unprecedented and threaten to render meaningless all apparent social and economic achievements and developments in all spheres of our societies.

Madame President,

The international community faces an unprecedented threat from climate change, with a wide range of possible impacts that can potentially cause instability in all regions of the world. In the Pacific, which is highly vulnerable to environmental changes, the results are severe and widespread. In Micronesia, within the past three months (January to March), islands in the State of Chuuk have experienced unusual high tides that have caused damage to food crops, sea-walls and homes, and displaced residents prompting a declaration of a State of Emergency in the affected areas. The truth is that climate change is a security threat and a threat to every aspect of life on Pacific islands.

Climate change will create a set of problems in the Pacific Island region. Rising sea levels will change coastlines, and quite likely submerge entire islands. In addition to the irreversible loss of territory of sovereign states, changes in geography could lead to disputes over Exclusive Economic Zones. Saltwater intrusion has already destroyed crops in islands throughout the region. Damaged fish stocks would be devastating to the livelihood of regional residents. The frequency of tropical storms will increase. As a result, environmental refugees will put additional strain on our small and vulnerable economies.

Madame President,

The Council is charged with maintaining international peace and security. As such, it should first formally recognize that climate change is a threat falling within its mandate. It should then have the Secretary-General identify regions at risk and the potential impact on international peace and security as well as appropriate responses, in line with Article 99 of the Charter. Finally, the Council should remain seized of the matter since climate change is evolving.

I thank you, Madame President.